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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

1 Kings 8

 

 

Verses 1-66


The Dedication of the Temple. Solomon's Prayer

1. The chief of the fathers] i.e. heads of families. Out of the city] The Temple and Palace were built on the site of Araunah's threshing floor (2 Chronicles 3:1), which would naturally be outside the city walls and on higher ground: cp. 1 Kings 9:24.

2. Ethanim] The later Tishri, corresponding to Sept.-Oct. The feast referred to was Tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34).

3. The priests] 2 Chronicles 5:4 has 'the Levites,' certain of whom (the Kohathites) had, according to Numbers 4:15, the special duty of bearing the ark. But the priests are likewise represented as bearing the ark in Joshua 3:6, Joshua 3:13; Joshua 4:9, etc.

4. Tabernacle of the congregation] RV 'tent of meeting': i.e. the sanctuary in which the Lord used to commune with His worshippers (Exodus 33:9; Numbers 11:25). This, which (according to 2 Chronicles 1:3) was at Gibeon, may have been preserved for its sacred associations, for the ark had long been separated from it.

7. The staves] the poles, inserted in rings, by means of which the ark was carried: see Exodus 25:12-15.

8. They drew out the staves] RV 'the staves were so long': owing to their length they could be seen from the Holy Place, though not without (i.e. outside it).

Unto this day] The date implied is that of a narrator living before the destruction of the Temple, whose language the compiler (who lived after that event, cp. 2 Kings 25) has incorporated without alteration: cp. 1 Kings 9:21.

9. There was.. stone] The writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 9:4) mentions also the golden pot that contained manna, and Aaron's rod; but, in strictness, these were placed before the ark (Exodus 16:34; Numbers 17:10).

10. The cloud] cp. Exodus 40:34-35; Exodus 33:9; Numbers 11:2; Numbers 12:5. This was called by the later Jews the Shechinah.

11. Could not stand] for the awe which the near Presence of the Lord inspired: cp. Exodus 3:6; Isaiah 6:5; Ezekiel 1:28.

12. The thick darkness] cp. Leviticus 16:2. Hitherto the Lord had dwelt not in an habitation made by human hands, but in Nature's cloudpavilions (Psalms 18:11).

15. Which spake.. unto David] through the prophet Nathan (2 Samuel 7:5-7).

22. The altar] The altar of burnt offering, in the court before the Temple.

23. And he said] The passage that follows is full of a sense of God's infinitude (1 Kings 8:27), righteousness (1 Kings 8:32), and omniscience (1 Kings 8:39), whilst at the same time it manifests faith in His constancy and forgivingness (1 Kings 8:25, 1 Kings 8:29-30, 1 Kings 8:34, etc.); and though it contemplates principally the needs of Israel, yet it embraces a petition for the stranger that is not of Israel (1 Kings 8:41-43).

25. So that] i.e. provided that (as in 1 Kings 6:12).

27. The heaven.. contain thee] cp. Isaiah 66:1; Jeremiah 23:24.

29. Make toward this place] In later times the Jews, when praying in foreign lands, turned their faces toward Jerusalem (Daniel 6:10).

31. And the oath come] RV 'And he come and swear.'

37. In the land of their cities]. LXX 'in one of their cities.'

38. The plague of his own heart] i.e. the plague or chastisement which each is conscious of suffering: cp. 1 Kings 2:44; Exodus 9:14.

41. Concerning a stranger, etc.] for the future worship of the Lord by the Gentiles, cp. Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 56:7; Zechariah 8:20-22.

43. Is called by thy name] i.e. belongs to Thee: cp. 2 Samuel 12:27-28

50. Give them compassion.. captive] The prayer was fulfilled when Cyrus allowed the Jews, who were captives in Babylon, to return to their home (Ezra 1:8).

51. Furnace of iron] i.e. a furnace hot enough to melt iron.

53. O Lord GOD] better, 'O Lord Jehovah.'

56. Hath given rest] cp. Exodus 33:14.

60. That all the people, etc.] Israel had a mission to discharge to the other nations of the world, partly by exhibiting conspicuously in its fortunes the moral principles on which God governed mankind (Joshua 4:24; Isaiah 55:5; Psalms 67:7) and partly through the agency of its spiritual teachers the prophets (Isaiah 42:1).

61. Perfect with] i.e. not divided between the Lord and other gods: see 1 Kings 9:6; 1 Kings 11:4.

63. Two and twenty thousand, etc.] The quantity seems enormous, but numbers in the OT., as in other ancient writings, cannot always be relied on, and profuse sacrifices were common in antiquity.

64. The middle of the court] On what is believed to be the site of the Temple court there is a large slab of rock, which would form a natural altar. Meat offerings] RV 'meal offerings,' and so elsewhere.

65. A feast] i.e. of Tabernacles (1 Kings 8:2).

The entering in of Hamath] Hamath was situated on the Orontes, the approach to it from the S. being by the gorge between Lebanon and Hermon. The river of Egypt] the modern Wâdy el Arish, a stream flowing from the Sinaitic peninsula into the Mediterranean. Seven days and seven days] The seven days' feast of Tabernacles was preceded by a seven days' Dedication festival.

66. On the eighth day] i.e. at the close of the seven days' feast of Tabernacles. Unto their tents] The phrase is a survival from the tent-life which prevailed before the settlement in Canaan.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on 1 Kings 8:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/1-kings-8.html. 1909.

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